The online news portal of TV5
MANILA – The fisher folk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday expressed opposition to the construction of a road dike around Laguna Lake, saying this will destroy the livelihood of many fishermen.
Instead, the group proposed that the P122.8 billion allotted for the construction should be spent on improving and bringing back the natural wealth of the 90,000 hectare lake.
“Why not allot the P122.8 billion to the rehabilitation of Yolanda affected areas which claimed thousands of lives in Eastern Visayas and distribute at least 100,000 fishing boats to revive fish production and livelihood affected by the super typhoon,” Pamalakaya vice-chairperson Salvador France said in a news release.
According to the Department of Public Works and Highways, the 47-kilometer road dike will run from Bicutan, Taguig to Los Banos, Laguna. DPWH said the road dike will prevent flood in Laguna lake communities and will serve as an alternate route from Bicutan, Taguig to Los Banos, Laguna.
“Based on our experience, a road dike is not the solution to prevent flooding in Laguna Lake communities. It will only worsen the situation because the dike will block the free flowing of water in the lake,” France said.
France said the road dike project will displace thousands of small fisher folk families living near the lake.
Fishing habits will change because the dike will block the boats from going to their fishing grounds, he said. In effect, the Aquino administration would deprive small fisher folk of their livelihoods.
“The President thinks he can mislead the fisher folk. We already knew that it is not just the road dike they are planning to build around the Laguna Lake. They want the road dike because later, they will use the lake for eco-tourism purposes. And the only ones who will benefit in the development are the investors and developers of different projects,” France said.
He said this is on top of the proposed international airport project on Talim Island and the other road dikes and infrastructures that the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) intends to build around the lake under the framework of its Laguna Lake Master Development Plan.
All these projects will only displace the fisher folk, France said.